How to Grow and Care For Citrus Trees in Your Garden
Growing your citrus fruits such as oranges, limes, lemons, mandarins, or tangelos is an exciting venture, but it is one that requires patience and conscious effort. Whether you are starting out with a nursery or well-established trees, you need to know how to grow and care for citrus trees to keep them healthy and productive. Here you will learn some useful steps and measures that you can take to ensure that you enjoy an abundant harvest of citrus fruits.
Provide the right soil
Citrus trees can acclimate to any quick-draining soil such as sandy loam soil. However, they may not thrive in dense and wet soils such as clay, or soils that have a high salt content, as they can foster drainage problems, collar rot, and fungal diseases. Ensure that you provide your young trees with the right soil. Avoid adding heavy compost or organic manure around the base of the trees as it can cause retention of moisture and damage to the roots. However, you can add some citrus-specific fertilizer to provide essential micronutrients such as zinc, copper, boron, nitrogen, and iron for better yields.
Grow trees in plenty of sunlight
Adequate sunlight is one of the key requirements for growing healthy and productive citrus fruits. For this reason, you should avoid planting your trees during seasons with little or no sunlight as this will slow down their growth. These trees need at least five hours of sunlight daily to produce a plentiful harvest. Plant them in a position that's facing the sun for maximum exposure to the sun's warmth. If you live in the cooler climates, you can grow them in a pot alongside a sunny wall where the solar radiation will warm them. Always take the pots inside during the winter to protect the trees from the damaging effects of the winter cold and snow.
Prune the trees
Regular and proper pruning is essential for keeping citrus fruits in the right shape and form. As you trees begin to grow, prune them regularly and remove any leggy branches and suckers. Removing the interior branches opens up the trees to allow more air and light, thus reducing the risk of disease. Pruning is also important if you have limited space as it helps the trees to fit in your backyard. After the winter season, remember to remove frozen branches to ensure that the tree recovers from the freezing temperatures.
Contact a specialist for more information on how to grow and care for citrus fruits in your area.